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I like co-sleeping...am I part of the problem?

(18 Posts)
Cbell Sun 21-Aug-11 08:47:58

Long post about the cost/ benefits of co-sleeping....

Quick run down. DD 7 mo BF. Slept fine until 4 months (3 to 4 hour chunks) the started waking more frequently until it was hourly at around 6 months...this nearly killed me and I turned into the world biggest moan monster!

Now she goes to bed fine at 6.30pm with her dummy then wakes up at 9.30pm...pretty much on the dot for a BF. After this she will not resettle in her cot so I take her into bed. I used to take her into bed at around the 4 -5am mark but as you can see it has got earlier and earlier until we essential just co-sleep.

Is this a problem? Well it means my hubby sleeps in the spare room so he gets a good night sleep which I occasionally resent him for. But the biggest issue is that I don't seem to want to change the situation. I tried going to bed in the spare room last night but after a bit of crying (her not me) we slept together...I missed her.

Who co-sleeps? How long do you imagine you will do this for? We are thinking of buying a massive bed so we can all sleep together...am I a super clingy mum...a sucker for letting me baby into bed and not helping her to sleep in her cot?

welliesandpyjamas Sun 21-Aug-11 08:55:26

Why can't dh get any sleep when you're all in the same bed? Do you have dd in the middle and he feels he can't relax? If so, get a bed guard for your side and cuddle her on the outside of the bed. Then he can cuddle up even closer to you grin

tallulah Sun 21-Aug-11 08:59:46

I'm co-sleeping with my DD 4.5, and have been since she was born. I don't think it's a problem. She likes it, I like it.

EauRouge Sun 21-Aug-11 09:10:20

You are not a super-clingy mum, you are following your instincts. There is a lot of pressure in our society to get babies to be 'independent'. As long as you and your DH are happy with the situation (we have a similar set-up due to DH's sleep apnoea) then there is no reason to change. There's no evidence that it creates bad habits, clinginess or any of that stuff. She won't be in your bed when she's 15.

If you want more info on co-sleeping then this is a good page. I also recommend Three in a Bed by Deborah Jackson which has loads of info on sleeping arrangements in different cultures, various sleep studies that have been done and some practical tips for co-sleeping (and getting them in their own bed when you want to).

Loads of people co-sleep but people rarely talk about it IRL because it's perceived as habit-forming and weird. You may have to be more creative about your sex life but I see that as a good thing grin

EauRouge Sun 21-Aug-11 09:13:20

I forgot to say, you can get side-car cots that attach to your bed if you wanted to find some middle ground, we've got a cheapo Ikea cot bed with one side removed so you don't need to buy an expensive one. Don't forget to read up on the safety guidelines for safe co-sleeping.

DuelingFanjo Sun 21-Aug-11 09:17:15

you do exactly the same as me. My DH is in the spare room mostly for his snoring and I co-sleep. My DS has followed the same sleeping pattern and he now wakes me a lot from 2am - 7am. I worry that I am disturbing him. I did put a cot up but find it impossible to get DS into it without waking him so he always comes into my bed.

I totally understand the issue with DH. I would like him back in bed with me but sadly the snoring is the main thing stopping us.

welliesandpyjamas Sun 21-Aug-11 09:27:06

Agree with other posts, that there is nothing wrong with it, it is just implied. I made this mistake with ds1, worked way too hard at making him sleep alone, in his own room, resulting in years of trouble in the long run where he felt over-anxious about going to bed and staying asleep, poor thing. So with ds2 we just followed our instincts and he falls asleep happily and easily anywhere, because we didn't create any big issues about where and with whom he slept. He loved and still loves the comfort of cuddling up in bed with us, especially while he was BFing in the first 2 years. As long as neither of you approach it as a problem, then it doesn't become one.

A cheaper way around a side cot is to take the side off a normal cot and attach it to your bed at the right height. Probably better than the bed guard idea I mentioned above due to your dd being 7 months and bigger now.

mosschops30 Sun 21-Aug-11 09:30:13

Different people have different ideas, but imho co sleeping is a bit pfb and i dont get it.
Your bed is for you and dh, it is not natural to have your children sleeping with you, they need their own space too.
Dc3 went througha phase where he would go to bed at 7 and then be awake screaming by 8.30 and would only settle in bed with us.
In the end i did controlled crying, took 3 nights and now he goes down awake at 7.30 and wakes about 7 ish.

My (probably unpopular amongst the co sleepers) is that yes i am a mother, but i am also a wife and a woman, i dont want my dc in bed with me every night, anymore than i want them with me every minute of every day. Its stifling for me and or them

welliesandpyjamas Sun 21-Aug-11 10:03:56

Oh definitely, different strokes for different folks and all that. It'll vary from family to family of course.

For us, pushing ds1 to be independent wasn't a happy experience for anyone. And in contrast, letting ds2 follow his own pace has been lovely for all the family. (And our sex life has NOT sufferedwink - the sofa sees a lot of action! Plus it's amazing how deeply babies sleep when they are relaxed!!).

EauRouge Sun 21-Aug-11 10:17:41

"it is not natural to have your children sleeping with you"

Natural is exactly what it is though confused The practice of having separate beds for parents and children is very recent. Separate beds is fine if that's what suits your family but saying that co-sleeping is unnatural is not accurate at all.

magicmummy1 Sun 21-Aug-11 10:26:05

There isn't a problem, if you, DH and DC are happy with the arrangement. smile

We co-slept from when dd was around 6 months old. DH usually slept in the spare room as he is a light sleeper and dd's movements kept her awake. Now dd is six, we still co-sleep sometimes but not always - dd is perfectly happy to sleep by herself and we never had any struggle over this.

As for it not being natural....I have never heard anything so ridiculous! What is your evidence for this?

didldidi Sun 21-Aug-11 10:29:43

I agree mosschops30, and it can't be that 'very recent' EauRouge seeing as I had my own cot over forty years ago as did most of my peers.

magicmummy1 Sun 21-Aug-11 10:32:36

40 years is rather short on the scale of human history! hmm

mosschops30 Sun 21-Aug-11 14:47:14

'the practice of sleepin in separate beds is very recent'

Erm no its not really, and unless you want to resort to times where people lived in two rooms and everyone slept in the same bed in one room then im thinking we are better off having separate beds.

Oh and i dont need any evidence for my own opinion do i? Wtf is with MN and people demanding peer reviewed research before you can say anything? I did state is was my opinion, thats what i believe and i dont need to justify it to you, thank you!

CamperFan Sun 21-Aug-11 17:28:40

I don't think you should worry about it. I did so with DS2 for 8 months, but decided it was time for him to go to his own room as I found we were starting to disturb each other and I wanted to stay up a bit later in the evening. I also missed DH in the spare room, and it made it difficult when people came to stay and needed the spare room as DH just can not share a bed with the two of us. DS2 has been completely fine in his own room - well, when I say fine I mean no different. Now at 10 months I am weaning him off the night feeding. I think people should do whatever feels right for them.

Mosschops, you are right - you offered your opinion and that is fair enough. Co sleeping is definitely not for everyone and I am certain that a large percentage of all those people around the world who co-sleep out of lack of choice, would love an extra room to put their children in! And a large number would keep them with them - whatever is best for a good nights sleep!

BertieBotts Sun 21-Aug-11 17:41:26

I slept with DS until he was about 2.4 I think? He went into his own bed perfectly happily at that time. I never pushed him, just bought the bed, bought a Peppa Pig duvet cover I knew he'd like, and suggested it. He was fine. I was ready, he was ready - I don't know that the transition would have gone as smoothly if either of us hadn't been.

He didn't sleep through until he'd been in his own room for a few months, but he does now. I didn't mind the wakings so much because I was right there next to him and feeding usually solved it. By the time I did move him, he could just walk into my bedroom if he did wake in the night, so I still don't have to get up if he does ever wake, unless he's really unsettled for some reason.

I think it's fine. If you're happy with doing it, then keep doing it until you're not any more. I loved the book "Three in a bed", by the way.

changeforthebetter Sun 21-Aug-11 17:53:00

Is it a problem for you and your family? Yes? What are your options? No? Um, there is no probelm

Didn't cosleep with first but did with second (so not very PFB wink). I had read Deborah Jackson's book but that wasn't what persuaded me - it felt right and maximised the amount of sleep everyone got. DD and I slept together till she was about 2 (forget when exactly). Then I got her a bed, where, with some positive promotion, surprise, surprise, she sleeps like a top without co-ercion. I never criticise those who won't co-sleep whatever their reasons - parenting is full of choices that you have to make because you have to live with the consequences. I did get heartily sick of the "rod for your own back" "too old to co-sleep" type of crappy criticism and am (just a wee bit) smug these days that my "bad sleeper" is now a great sleeper wink

vez123 Sun 21-Aug-11 20:49:03

I also prefer having my bed for myself. When DS was tiny we were worried about the SIDS risk, especially because our mattress is quite soft and bouncy and definitely not made for newborns. And as he got a bit older I think he would have gotten too dependent on my boobs to get off to sleep when he wakes in the night and this was something I definitely wanted to avoid. He slept in our room until nearly 8 months old and I was relieved when he got his own room and I was able to switch on the light as I was getting ready for bed and read a book let alone have a sex life that wasn't confined to the living room. I agree with the poster who said that we need our own personal space. Also, DS would now get too excited to go to sleep being in our bed! It's lovely though when he does occasionally go back to sleep when he joins us early in the morning...
Having said all that I think all situations are different and people have their own reasons why they co-sleep or do not co-sleep and I would not criticise anyone for doing so. I would probably do it if there really was no other way my child would settle but I would not do it just because I liked the sound of the concept.

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